The liberalism is a doctrine which is based on the defense of individual initiatives and that seeks to limit the intervention of Condition in economic, social and cultural life.
It’s about a philosophical and political system that promotes civil liberties and who is opposed to despotism. Representative democracy and republican principles are based on liberal doctrines.
Although liberalism is often referred to as a uniform whole, it is possible to distinguish between different types of liberalism. The economic liberalism It is the most widespread since it is defended by large corporations and the strongest economic groups. It is based on limiting state interference in commercial relations, promulgating the reduction of taxes and eliminating the regulations.
The economic liberalism believes that, by not intervening the State, equality of conditions is guaranteed and a market perfect competition. The lack of State intervention, however, does not allow social assistance (subsidies are canceled, for example).
The social liberalism, for its part, defends freedom in the private conduct of individuals and in their social relationships. The legalization of drug use is supported by social liberalism.
Finally, political liberalism hands over power to citizens, who freely and sovereignly elect their representatives. State officials, therefore, are elected by the popular power of democracy.
Each of these doctrines of liberalism, of course, has variants and more or less staunch defenders of the promoted freedoms.
With respect to history of liberalism, we can say that it covers approximately the four most recent centuries, with its beginning around the French Revolution, as a general doctrine or movement that sought to respond to the religious wars that had taken place on the European continent throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. In any case, it is necessary to point out that its most remote antecedents are found in the Middle Ages, which spanned approximately a millennium, between the V and XV centuries.
The intellectual foundations of liberalism are due to the work of the philosopher John Locke, one of the most important English thinkers of the seventeenth century. One of the points to highlight was that it strongly promoted the Enlightenment, the intellectual and cultural movement born in the mid-1800s with the purpose of questioning the traditions pre-existing governments and people. The union of these and other ideas gave rise to strong movements of a revolutionary nature that put an end to various antiquated regimes in many countries, especially in Europe, Latin America and North America.
Only in the middle of the 18th century with the Revolution of the Thirteen Colonies (also known as the American Revolution), a decolonization process that involved several changes that gave rise to the nation that today we know as the United States of America, the first solid manifestation of liberalism was glimpsed, which a short time later acquired a global reach to oppose the old order in the context of the French Revolution.
There is talk of classical liberalism to group the political ideas that appeared throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and in fact John Locke is considered the father of this phenomenon who opposed the absolutism of power, the privileges of aristocrats and the State intervening in civil matters. The classical liberals respected above all the free market and civil rights. With the arrival of the 21st century, many countries support liberal democracies, where we find concepts such as pluralistic society and free elections.